Disgruntled ANC members disrupt registration process at Free State elective conference

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ANC supporters.
ANC supporters.
Thapelo Maphakela/Gallo Images
  • Severe delays plagued the start of the ANC's Free State elective conference after disgruntled members disrupted the registration process.
  • Registration was temporarily suspended at the registration centre at the Petrus Molemela Stadium. 
  • Gwede Mantashe was expected to address the opening of the conference at the Imvelo Safari Lodge.

The registration process at the ANC's Free State elective conference had to be temporarily suspended after violence marred the first day. 

Speaking to News24, the spokesperson for the Free State ANC's interim provincial committee (IPC), Oupa Khoabane, confirmed the registration for the conference had been temporarily suspended. 

Addressing the media from the ANC's Bloemfontein offices, the chairperson of the national executive committee deployed to the Free State, David Mahlobo, confirmed the party was aware the registration process was disrupted by disgruntled members.

"The road towards the conference has not been easy. We know that the structures have had to be constituted from scratch, starting from branches, regions, and now the province. The road has not been smooth.

"There has also been a confirmation that the registration process has been disrupted this morning; all these problems are being attended to," said Mahlobo. 

Complaints had also been raised about the delegates attending the conference.

Mahlobo said: "There are several claims of parallel branches in various regions and the question of the tampering of delegates who are supposed to attend the conference."

He added that a credentials verification structure was put in place to work with the national leadership, and to attend to complaints regarding delegate selection.

Addressing the media outside the Bloemfontein High Court, the former chairperson of the Free State ANC, Ace Magashule, said he had already told those affiliated to him that there was no way they could win this conference because it was already rigged. 

READ | 'Anyone but Dukwana': Free State structures unite against interim convener ahead of ANC conference

"I told comrades that delegates are being brought in who were not elected by branches, so there is no way they can win," claimed  Magashule.

According to Mahlobo, the now disrupted registration process was initially supposed to have taken place on Thursday evening and was already delayed when it started on Friday. 

The delegates who had gathered to get their accreditation were dispersed from the stadium.

Khoabane said a time when registration would recommence would be communicated. 

ANC national chairperson Gwede Mantashe is supposed to give the opening address at the elective conference, which is set to be held at the Imvelo Safari Lodge. 

Mahlobo said 242 branches had qualified to take part after convening their general meetings. 

READ | 'Maybe I must do what President Ramaphosa has done' - Ace Magashule bemoans fraud case postponement

According to the tally from the branch nominations, which has been seen by News24, incumbent convener Mxolisi Dukwana leads the pack, with 59 nominations, and is the only one who has met the required 20% threshold. 

Those considered as his fierce opponents for the position received far fewer nominations, with former Mangaung mayor Thabo Manyoni receiving only 15 nominations and the current premier, Sisi Ntombela, receiving 37 nominations. 

Despite not meeting the threshold, Ntombela and Manyoni may still be nominated from the floor. 

No candidates met the threshold for the deputy chairperson position, while Paseka Nompondo, the current coordinator, leads the race for the provincial secretary position, with 67 nominations, and is set to battle it out with Polediso Motsoeneng, who received 49 nominations. 

Dibolelo Mahlatsi, with 49 nominations, and Mathabo Leeto, with 48, also met the threshold for the positions of deputy secretary and provincial treasurer respectively. 

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